Colin Kaepernick, whose protests over the National Anthem have drawn plenty of national attention, is gaining supporters. Before the 49ers last game against the Chargers, Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem.
He was joined by a teammate, Eric Reid. Seahawks player Jeremy Lane also joined the silent protest, kneeling during a Seattle preseason game.
Now he’s getting support from another sports as well. On Sunday afternoon, ahead of a game against the Chicago Red Stars, Seattle Reign women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe knelt during the anthem and later said it was “a nod to Kaepernick.”
Rapinoe told Julie Foudy of espnW following the game she is “disgusted” by how Kap’s been treated during his protest ( one NFL executive anonymously called him a “traitor” and another compared him to Rae Carruth.)
“I am disgusted with the way he has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this,” Rapinoe said. “It is overtly racist. ‘Stay in your place, black man.’ Just didn’t feel right to me. We need a more substantive conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated.”
Kaepernick originally refused to stand during the national anthem, later saying he did not want to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” and that it was “bigger than football.” Rapinoe echoed similar statements, while pointing out she has pride in America but just doesn’t see it as “perfect.”
“We are not saying we are not one the greatest countries in world. Just need to accept that [it is] not perfect, things are broken,” Rapinoe said. “And quite honestly, being gay, I have stood with my hand over my heart during the national anthem and felt like I haven’t had my liberties protected, so I can absolutely sympathize with that feeling.”
Kaepernick has also drawn heat publicly for his choice of attire in recent months. He wore socks with police pigs on them and also wore a Fidel Castro shirt.